Some of the best modern games are influenced heavily by classics such as Dungeons and Dragons and they wear that influence proudly. As VR developers attempt to cultivate that spirit in the growing ecosystem, gamers are all too ready to escape into the immersive virtual worlds flooded with magic and the creatures we’ve come to love or hate over the years.
Symmetrical is a 6-month-old game development team that wants their debut game to exude the majesty of high-fantasy, but they’re going the scientific route sans magic with Gates of Nowhere.
In Gates of Nowhere you take on the role of a cliche amnesiac lead character and you’re dropped into a dungeon filled with trolls, ghouls, locusts, and more. You’ll explore, fight, and solve riddles across four large levels (The Awakening, Through The Dark, Waterworks, and At The Gates) and the mystery of your predicament will unfold and become complete in the end. Although devoid of magic, a major element of the game is its creation of consumable items through chemistry and some items that you create can ultimately end up displaying effects of a magical kind. You’ll also have a collection of weapons to choose from including a flail, sword, ax, and a crossbow.
A relatively unique element of Gates of Nowhere is their spin on the teleportation style of locomotion in VR, called “locoportation”. You activate your avatar which then resembles a spirit form of yourself, steer it to whatever location you can see, and then teleport to that spot. It works similarly to the “comfort” option we saw in From Other Suns for Oculus Rift with Touch at GDC. On paper, it’s a subtle change but it allows for more precise movement which also allows the developer to create more intricate environmental puzzles and obstacles. It also adds a new element to the teleportation mechanic because you now have to be mindful of the amount of time it will take you to move if monsters are in your vicinity.
Gates of Nowhere will be released on Steam Early Access for HTC Vive in a couple weeks and the Symmetrical team is already plotting out a PlayStation VR (PSVR) port. The Early Access version will include The Awakening and Through The Dark, evolving with more content up until launch. For more details, check the official website.